At Moorelands Kids, we believe that if you provide children with the tools to make good decisions, treat people well, and respect themselves, they will be a part of the community as good citizens.
We aren’t necessarily talking about your COUNTRY of citizenship. We’re thankful to live in Canada and to be a part of a nation of citizens who care for others. But citizenship, as we’re describing it, affects every aspect of your day to day life. It’s the part of you that others interact with every day. It’s the part of you that put a priority on caring for yourself and the people around you. It’s the quality of your character that shines brightly as a trustworthy, respectful, responsible and caring person.
But what does it mean to be a good citizen?
Imagine your life is represented by a bucket.
When you are a good citizen, it means that you Care For Yourself Inside and Out. When you care for yourself, it’s like filling up your bucket full of fresh, clean water. You fill your bucket when you exercise your body, growing strong and healthy. You add more water to the bucket when you sleep well and get the rest you need to be your best for the next day. You keep pouring in more water when you eat well, nourishing all the parts of your body that work so hard every day. There’s even more added when you relax and try not to stress about life.
Keep Learning Every Day
We need some more water to fill this bucket. There’s a lot of water to be collected through continuous learning. When you keep learning and growing, you increase your capacity of knowledge. You grow in wisdom. You can teach others, and help others. Continuous learning could mean you take courses to learn new things. It might mean you spend time with your grandparents to learn about their lives and the things they have learned. It might mean that instead of playing a video game, that you instead read a book
Cultivate Positive Friendships
To top off this bucket with fresh clean water, you’ll need to make sure you’re surrounded by people who lift you up. When you build positive friendships, you are hemmed in by people who will tell you the truth, challenge you when you make a poor decision, and who will support you in difficult times. Relationships are perhaps the most vital part of caring for yourself. Relationships that are rich, and fruitful, and that are equal will fill your bucket full of fresh, beautiful water.
Now that your life, or your bucket, is filled to the brim with water you have the opportunity, as a good citizen, to pour that water out and fill the buckets of other people. You can make the people around you feel loved and cared for by being a good citizen.
You can pour out good into other people lives by participating with all your effort and enthusiasm. Maybe it’s as simple as playing with a younger sibling and showing them that they are valued, or it’s more involved like participating in a volunteer program. Maybe it’s even as exciting as joining one more Moorelands Kids’ after-school leadership programs!
Do Your Share
You can pour into other people lives by doing your share as a part of the community. You have gifts and talents and abilities that can serve other people. Can you help a neighbor walk their dog? Can you offer to do some chores around the house to help your Mom? What about simply tidying up litter around the playground, or on your walk to school?
You demonstrate people a good citizen by pouring out respect to other people. When you respect your parents and the rules they’ve put in place, you show them that you love them and trust them. When you respect your leaders at program, you show them that you want to learn from them. When you respect your teachers, you tell them that you are responsible and that you want to be a good student.
Finally, you can pour out water from your bucket and help the world around you to flourish. Being a steward of your environment makes you a champion for your neighbourhood, your parks, your community, your city, and your country.
When you’ve poured out into other people, you may need to refill your bucket. The beauty of being a good citizen is that you can constantly learn and grow from the people around you. The amazing thing about being a good citizen is that when YOU show that you care, other people around you will start to do the same thing.
Moorelands Kids empowers kids to care for themselves inside and out. Once they’ve done that, they grow in the habit of being a great citizen!
How can you show the people around you that you value them?